Case Study

The Old Mutual

Quick Wins for IT

  • Cost savings achieved through active user pricing model
  • Increased efficiency through accessible dashboards and ‘drag and drop’
  • Single customized IT security module
  • Enablement of a Configuration Management System to provide IT support for 27,000 internal customers

The Challenge

Old Mutual Life Assurance Company is a leading provider of life assurance, savings, and retirement funding products across South Africa. The firm is a subsidiary of Old Mutual Limited, a global financial services company founded in South Africa in 1845.

With more than 27,000 internal customers spread across the globe, Old Mutual relies heavily on its 1,100 strong IT team and 150 service specialists to keep its operations running effectively. However, as well as requiring a strong IT Service Management (ITSM) solution to support needs such as incident and change requests, the company also faced increasing pressure to be cost-effective.

Mr Karshan Sewpersad, IT Manager at Old Mutual, explains: “Our existing solution was good but used a licensing model based on named users. This made it difficult to scale to more users across the organisation without incurring unnecessary expenses on a named user licensing model. We have more than 1,100 named users, but only 400 concurrent logins at any given time.”

The Solution

After exploring a number of options, Old Mutual was attracted to the Cherwell ITSM solution in the first instance because of its concurrent user model, which provides a more cost-effective fit with its operations.

Alongside delivering on the initial priority of cost saving, it soon became apparent that the flexibility of the Cherwell platform would deliver more efficient working practices as well as allow Old Mutual to experiment with creating new modules.

“In the past, we couldn’t directly access the systems and had to go through a partner to do any administrative work,” Sewpersad explains. “With Cherwell’s dashboards, on the other hand, it was apparent we would have far more freedom to update and edit it ourselves.”

The Old Mutual Building

Old Mutual is currently working closely with Cherwell’s South African partner Adaptive Dynamics, a specialist in service management and business automation. Having partnered with Cherwell for over three years and with strong experience handling projects for multinational corporations and government-owned enterprises, Adaptive Dynamics was well-placed to carry out the enhancements and offer expert consultation.

Mr James Kershaw, General Manager at Adaptive Dynamics, comments: “The size and complexity of the infrastructure in companies as large as Old Mutual always presents some challenges. To overcome these, it was important that all parties had a clear plan in place, so we weren’t trying to do too much all at once. With a co-ordinated approach it allowed us to implement the most critical aspects of the solution first, so that Old Mutual could start reaping the benefits straight away.”

The Results

The Cherwell IT Service Management platform is well on track to deliver on Old Mutual’s initial goal of reducing costs, with savings expected to be delivered from the first 18 months onwards.

Cherwell has also enabled Old Mutual to operate more efficient working practices due to its more open and flexible set-up.

“Being able to edit Cherwell’s dashboards without an outside administrator has been very beneficial in terms of management and the drag and drop system is amazing,” Sewpersad explains. “We are also able to give each service team their own customised dashboard, whereas before we operated with five or six in total.”

Old Mutual opted to take full advantage of Cherwell’s adaptability by creating a custom-made IT security module to address the firm’s strict and complex security requirements.

Sewpersad explains: “We have approximately 60 different security processes now being taken care of with the bespoke Cherwell module. Being able to just add that functionality has been amazing and it’s easily meeting all of our security audit requirements with the ability to improve as we find better security approaches.”

Cherwell’s capabilities around automation have also delivered noticeable benefits, particularly its ability to mesh with the existing federated CMDB setup.

“With over 27,000 internal customers to support, automation is absolutely essential for our service team to operate effectively,” Sewpersad adds. “Cherwell is able to automate the complete lifecycle from a person logging a request to the team(s) that will fulfil the request.”

He continues: “With the aim to centralise through Cherwell we can start to re-look at our processes. If someone has a problem with an application, we will be able to see everything the application is connected to and dependent on. This means that troubleshooting becomes easier when you know the relationships between services.”

With the initial rollout complete, Old Mutual is now planning on expanding its use of Cherwell to other departments and locations, as well as upgrading and enhancing the solution. Personal Finance IT has recently been onboarded to the system which opens up the service to approximately 10,000 more, managed devices.